Nidd Valley Light Railway


Nidd Valley Light Railway, 1907 – 1929. Selection of unused tickets from Lofthouse-in-Nidderdale station  In the 1890s, Bradford Corporation embarked upon a massive scheme to supply water to the city.


Three reservoirs in Nidderdale, with miles of closed aqueduct and siphons were planned for construction over 40 years. It would be necessary to build two temporary villages, at Angram and Scar for workmen and some of their families, and transport thousands of tons of cement and other supplies from the nearest railhead at Pateley Bridge. As it happened, a private company had put forward a scheme for a light railway up the dale as far as Lofthouse, but had failed to raise the necessary capital. Bradford Corporation took over the powers granted by a light railway order, without realizing that these powers compelled them to provide a public passenger service. As a passenger service would be needed for the workmen, it was decided to make the best of a bad job. Two elderly 4-4-0 tank locomotives and some coaches, made redundant by the electrification of the Metropolitan Railway were purchased. The public passenger service began in 1907, but the Metropolitan locos with their large coupled driving wheels were not a success on the gradients going up the dale. Public passenger services ceased at the end of 1929 – they had never been economically viable, and the railway closed completely in 1936, with the completion of Scar House reservoir. The train service beyond Lofthouse was provided solely for the use of workers and their families, the public were not permitted to travel on these trains.  An unusual and colourful decorative item for only 50p!


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